|Publication number||US6843965 B2|
|Application number||US 10/822,467|
|Publication date||Jan 18, 2005|
|Filing date||Apr 12, 2004|
|Priority date||May 22, 2003|
|Also published as||US20040235410|
|Publication number||10822467, 822467, US 6843965 B2, US 6843965B2, US-B2-6843965, US6843965 B2, US6843965B2|
|Inventors||Jeffrey B. Matulevich|
|Original Assignee||Jeffrey B. Matulevich|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (17), Referenced by (16), Classifications (10), Legal Events (3)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
This application is a continuation-in-part application of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/443,333 filed May 22, 2003 now U.S. Pat. No. 6,764,656.
The invention relates to a fan for an air vent that is formed in the shape of a sports figure and whose arms rotate to serve as fan blades with the device being capable of dispersing an aromatic scent for freshening an area, such as the personnel compartment of the vehicle or a room.
There are air fresheners or deodorizers for automobiles that are formed in the shaped for various action figures such as the deodorizer disclosed in Design Pat. 196,639 to Irving, which hangs from any part of the interior compartment of a vehicle. Another air freshener is that disclosed in Design Pat. 287,049 to Torres, which is simply a thin card that hangs from any part of the interior compartment of a vehicle.
The Torres patent does disclose an imprint of a soccer player but there is no action associated with the sports figure. Similarly, there is no action associated with the caricature depicted in the Irving patent. As such, it simply hangs in the vehicle in a non-noticeable non-entertaining fashion.
The present invention provides the benefits of devices such as those mentioned above, in addition, to providing a fan like effect with the rotating arms that mimic a throwing action of a sports figure, such as a baseball player, a basketball player, a football player, and other sport caricatures that have a throwing action as part of the sport game.
Aromatic/deodorizing scents can be optionally incorporated into the device by addition of aromatic or deodorizing agents such as beads, wax or oil in absorbent material in a designated portion of the device, preferably the head portion of the device. Should the head portion be designated to contain the scent/deodorizing means, then access means to a small holding area or reservoir could be through an aperture at the top of the head, the face, a face visor, a face guard, a face mask, or the cap/helmet portion of the head. It is preferable that scenting means be something other than oils, although oils in an absorbent material would work. Preferably means such as beads or scented wax would be longer lasting and easier to market and use with the device. For example, if the sports figure is a football player, the helmet portion may be integral to the body portion but the visor or face mask may be removable to insert the aromatic and/or deodorizing pellets (beads), wax or oils. Another embodiment is the provision that the whole helmet portion is removable exposing a formed void within which, the aromatic and/or the deoderizing means may be inserted. Another access means is to provide an opening or aperture, such as a slotted area on top of the helmet. If the figure is a baseball player, then the face or cap may be removable to insert the scenting/deodorizing means, or again the aperture on top of the cap would work.
The device is attached by any of a variety of known means in the art, such as a clip, to the a ventilation grill, such as those on the dashboard of a motor vehicle. For example, this can be done with an attachment to the back body portion of the device using a clip or spring wire or other attachment means, that maintains the sports figure aligned in a generally vertical and parallel relationship with the grill face of the vehicle ventilation system. When the ventilation fan is turned on, the device is close enough to the ventilation grill face so that arms capture the air flow and rotate freely, that is, the arms are designed to capture the air flow to facilitate the rotation in such a way as to mimic a repetitive throwing action. Essentially, the arms are socketed within the shoulder socket of the caricature with rotating bearing means so as to rotate freely. Rotating bearing means may be concentric sleeves at the arm pivot point. The arms are typically relatively thin but with some depth or cross-width so as to be relatively realistic in form. The arms are typically angled slightly or cupped at a portion thereof to capture the flow of air and to activate the rotation for mimicking a forward throwing action or in a reverse pattern to mimic an underhand throwing action, such as by a softball pitcher.
When used in an automobile, it is anticipated that children in the vehicle will be fascinated by the sports figure arms rotating and at the same time, the air in the vehicle personnel compartment can be refreshed and/or deodorized.
Another entertaining feature incorporated in the invention as another embodiment, is the addition of a circuitry, including a microprocessor, that receives telecommunication signals, such those received by cellular phones, hereinafter referred to as “cell” phones. The circuitry can include a short wave non-transmitting receiver chip that is in electronic communication with an LED light that lights up when a telecommunication signal is being received by the cell phone. The LED bulb would preferably be placed within the caricature in such a location so as to make the head light up. Typically, the signal can be picked up within an approximate radius of about six (6) feet, depending on the strength of the short wave telecommunication signal being received by the cell phone. This would work very well within the compartment of an automobile.
In the accompanying drawings:
Referring now to the drawings,
The invention 10 further includes means 14 for attaching caricature 12 to a ventilation grill 16. The device can in fact be attached to any fan grill system, and is not limited to installation in a vehicle grill 16.
As shown in
As discussed above, when the ventilation fan is turned on, the device 10 is close enough to the ventilation grill 16 face so that arms 18 capture the air flow and rotate freely, that is the arms 18 are designed to capture the air flow to facilitate the rotation in such a way as to mimic a repetitive throwing action. Although not readily observable by the representational depiction of
The artistic sculpturing of the caricature 12 in general, should be done so as to present a realistic image of a sports athlete, while maintaining a design on the arms 18 a,18 b so as to enhance the capturing of an air flow, thereby generating the mimicking of a throwing action by the rotation of the arms 18. One hand 22 (left 22 a or right 22 b) depicts the holding of an object 24 being thrown. In the example shown in
As discussed above, the two arms 18 also have means 26 for capturing an air flow generated by activating a ventilation system, such as in a motor vehicle, so that air flows in a direction emanating from behind the sports figure, for creating a fanning rotation of the two arms 18 a,18 b, as shown by the arrows in
At least a portion of the sports figure includes a representation of a sporting uniform 40 worn by such sports figure. For example, the caricature 12 may include representational football shoes, football pants, a football shirt and a football helmet painted or otherwise depicted on the respective feet, legs, central body portion and head of the caricature. In this representation, the depicted player may be mimicking the throwing of a football being held in one hand. If the sports figure is a baseball player, the uniform 40 would be a typical baseball uniform, including the shoes, with a baseball cap, and the hand would be holding a baseball with the fan motion depicting a pitcher throwing the ball. If the sports figure is a basketball player, then the ball may be a basketball and the uniform would be shirt and shorts and sneakers, typically worn by basketball players. In most cases, the throwing action would be simulated as an overhand throwing action. However, if a softball player is depicted, then the throwing action may be underhand, or counter-clockwise rotation for a right-handed softball pitcher.
The invention 10 further includes access means 28 for inserting one of a scenting agent, a deodorizing agent and a combination thereof, in an interior reservoir 50 in a designated portion of the caricature 12. There are many means for doing this, some of which are fully described in co-pending U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/443,333, filed May 22, 2003, which is incorporated by reference herein. That is, the reservoir 50 can almost be in any available convenient part of the caricature 12 and the reservoir can be any size and shaped as long as it contains the scenting agents, including pad and oils.
As discussed above, the agents are generally represented as 60 and may be in the form of beads or pellets, including wax (such as blocks, beads or pellets of wax), or in the form of oil absorbed or impregnated in an absorbent pad such as a cotton pad. The reservoir 50 serves as holding means for storing one of the scenting agent, the deodorizing agent and the combination thereof. The scenting agent and/or the deodorizing agent 60 effectively provides for means for air freshening and/or deodorizing an interior compartment of the motor vehicle or a room. The vapors released from the agents 60 are shown in
The designated portion of the caricature 12 is sufficiently permeable on either side of the interior reservoir 50, as generally depicted by perforations 50 a, so that when the air flow passes by the sports figure, a vapor 60 a from the scenting/deodorizing agent 60, is dispersed by the movement of the air flow 30 emanating from the ventilation grill 16.
In one embodiment, the access means 28 for inserting scenting/deodorizing agents 60 in the reservoir 50, is an aperture 28 a in the designated portion of the caricature 12. Although the reservoir 50 and its access means 28 could be located on any part of the caricature 12, it is preferred that the designated portion be the head portion 12 e of the caricature 12. The upper head portion lends itself to be a good selection to incorporate the reservoir 50. Where an aperture 28 a is desired, the aperture 28 a can be located in the head portion 12 e of the caricature 12, preferably the top.
As can be surmised, depending on the sports figure illustrated in the caricature 12, the head portion 12 e may include a cap (for example, for a baseball player), a helmet (for example, for a football player), a face only (for example, for a basketball player), a face guard (for example, similar to those incorporated in football helmets), and a face visor (for example, similar to those worn in combination with the face guard of a football helmet) and any combination thereof. For example, the football player may have a depicted helmet and face guard only, therefore, a part of the face would typically be depicted. A baseball player may have a baseball cap and sunglasses or a face visor to imitate drop down sunglasses from the bill of a ball cap.
The head portion 12 e or other caricature portion containing the reservoir 50, should be sufficiently permeable (50 a) on either side of the interior reservoir 50 so that when the air flow 30 passes by the sports figure, a vapor 60 a from the scenting/deodorizing agent 60 is dispersed by the movement of the air flow emanating from the ventilation grill 16.
The permeable feature 50 a can be one of more apertures, including a single aperture or a plurality of finer apertures.
The means 20 for rotating the arms 18 about the shoulders 12 h,12 i can be provided in a number of ways known in the art. For example, a rotatable pin could be fixed to the arms and inserted through a tubular shaped bushing extending through the shoulders 12 h,12 i. A concentric bushing acting as a spacer between the arms 18 and shoulders 12 h,12 i would also typically be provided; and the pin, acting as an axis of rotation, can be designed with sufficient tolerance to rotate with relative ease when subjected to the back draft of the air flow.
The central body portion 12 a, the head and neck portion 12 e,12 f respectively, the legs 12 d and the arms 18 may be made from a variety of lightweight materials. For example, polymeric material or plastic based material may be used, cardboard stock material may be used, light-weight metallic material may be used and a combination of any of these materials may be used.
As shown in
In still another embodiment of the invention 10, the caricature 12 may include means 70 for lighting a desired portion of the caricature 12. The means 70 for lighting up the desired portion of the caricature would have circuitry to receive telecommunication transmission signals 70 a, which activate a circuit 70 b that lights a lighting or illumination means 70 c within the desired portion of the caricature 12. The illuminating means 70 c is typically a LED bulb, as shown in the example of
As shown in
As alluded to above and as conceptually depicted in
It should be understood that the preceding is merely a detailed description of one or more embodiments of this invention and that numerous changes to the disclosed embodiments can be made in accordance with the disclosure herein without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. The preceding description, therefore, is not meant to limit the scope of the invention. Rather, the scope of the invention is to be determined only by the appended claims and their equivalents.
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|U.S. Classification||422/124, 446/124, 454/157, D23/367|
|Cooperative Classification||A61L9/12, B60H3/0028, A61L9/122|
|European Classification||A61L9/12F, A61L9/12|
|Jul 28, 2008||REMI||Maintenance fee reminder mailed|
|Jan 18, 2009||LAPS||Lapse for failure to pay maintenance fees|
|Mar 10, 2009||FP||Expired due to failure to pay maintenance fee|
Effective date: 20090118